In 2020, companies made seismic shifts in how they do business as the impacts of COVID-19 transformed customer expectations and workplace dynamics, virtually overnight. Being digital-first and, in many cases, digital-only, meant companies had to rapidly acquire new technologies to reach customers and connect remote teams. Against this backdrop, Zendesk, a customer service software company with support and sales products designed to improve customer relationships, has released new data on digital adoption in India.
The most successful companies are adopting new technologies at light speed. This accelerated timeline of adopting innovative solutions and technology – known as the “digital tipping point”. In fact, among tech decision makers in India, 93% of them say COVID-19 sped up digital adoption. More than half say that digital transformation has been sped up by 1-3 years. At the same time, 72% of customers in India say that customer experience (CX) is more important to them now than a year ago.
“CX isn’t just a sideline part in a company’s digital transformation, it is the driving force behind it. The past year has shown us that the most successful companies are infusing great customer experiences in everything they do, and this will remain true in 2021 and beyond. Case in point, 41% of tech decision makers in APAC saw increased investment in CX in 2020, with 53% seeing continued increase in 2021. We believe there will be a continued focus on customer centricity and ongoing digital transformation as we adapt to our next normal,” said KT Prasad, MD & RVP SAARC, Zendesk.
The pressure on delivering great CX has never been higher. Across APAC, two in five customers use multiple channels for the same issue – meaning support teams need to be prepared to serve customers across multiple channels. Not only that, customers increasingly expect personalisation from brands throughout their CX journey – 89% of customers in India agree.
In response to the increased spotlight on CX and digital adoption, businesses in India are recognising the need to up their CX game and are investing in their customers and employees. 90% of Indian companies say CX is now a priority in their digital business transformation efforts. In APAC, 55% of tech decision makers say their budgets for tech purchases will increase in 2021, helping them to better manage more distributed workforces, adapt to the next normal and add new ways to offer support.
Navigating across the digital tipping point
Zendesk has outlined five main areas of investment for every company to consider a great customer experience:
Messaging has evolved from being how people communicate in their personal lives to becoming a business essential, and has grown faster than any other customer service channel. It will remain the dominant channel for both simple self-service as well as more complex conversations.
Artificial intelligence will become table stakes for customers who want to be in control of their conversations. Companies need to leverage self-service and automation to deliver friction-free customer experiences. 61% of APAC customers say chatbots are helpful with simple issues.
Build agility into the business from Day 1 to have the infrastructure needed to adapt immediately to unexpected volatility, new customer needs and changing business demands.
Remote work tools will keep maturing to enable better collaboration, establish deeper trust, and build meaningful connections.
Being able to make data-driven decisions that address emerging CX challenges will be a major differentiator.